Paula Hooton, MA, LMHC
As a therapist, I believe it is a great privilege and honor to be a part of the journey through an individual's most challenging and rewarding life experiences. It takes a great deal of courage to seek therapy and look inward to face the parts of ourselves we may be uncomfortable admitting exist. I feel that within every individual is the power to heal themselves and that working collaboratively in therapy will help facilitate that realization.
My goal in practice is to help individuals and couples feel safe in being themselves and to provide a nurturing, non-judgmental environment in which to grow their strengths, accept their weaknesses, and assimilate all the parts of their past and present that make up their most authentic selves. My approach focuses on building resiliency and hope through a blend of modalities including but not limited to cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavior, emotion-focused, and mindfulness therapy. I strive to always meet you where you are, be present and supportive, and to help you achieve balance in every way I can.
I provide therapy to individual adults and couples, with a focus on addictions, relationship issues, complex trauma, grief and loss, anger management, and acute or chronic mental health diagnoses.
I graduated from the University of Hawaii and am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor with a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology. My experience in the field thus far has consisted of working for the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii and in a private practice in West Seattle. At Queen's Medical Center, I developed a strong foundation in both the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic mental health disorders, as well as providing group therapy for dual-diagnosis clients. Working in private practice has allowed me to utilize a more holistic model of mental health that is less medically-based, and more whole-person focused. Additionally, I have developed a passion for couples counseling, for which I was trained in the Gottman therapeutic style.
I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, am bilingual, and am of mixed-race descent. I will never forget the wonderful yet frightening life transition of moving to the United States when I was 17 - an experience which has allowed me to further empathize with multicultural and marginalized populations, or with clients who grew up in non-traditional households.
In my spare time, I enjoy playing volleyball, hiking, snowboarding, spending time with my dog, and essentially making the most of the outdoors. As a former college athlete, I understand the immeasurable benefits that physical exercise can bring to our overall wellbeing. Our physical health oftentimes goes hand in hand with our mental health, and improving one will often improve the other. My hope is to bring you to a place where you, too, are enjoying the benefits of the world around you, while constantly improving your inner self.